CH upgrade

Starting to think about a possible upgrade of our CH system ... currently we have a Vaillant boiler (probably getting towards the end of its useful life, and undoubtedly not as efficient as a modern unit would be) w/ a hot cylinder, running a total of 12 rads in three zones. Just to add a complication, the boiler and hot cylinder currently occupy a built-in wardrobe in a spare bedroom; the wardrobe space also includes a *lot* of pipework, some of which is left over from a previous owner who had an Aga in the kitchen which was used to provide hot water. Fuel is LPG.
Possible plans:
- replace the Vaillant/tank in situ with a combi/condenser, remove/re-rout as much as possible of the existing pipework to reduce the amount of cupboard space taken up
- remove the Vaillant/tank, and put a combi/condenser in the kitchen (which is directly below the current location - indeed, there is evidence that at some point the boiler *was* in the kitchen and was subsquently moved upstairs to its current location). Moving would be a bit of a pain in the a**e, involving removal of at least one kitchen wall unit and re-siting of the electricity meter / consumer unit; at least there would be no major re-routing of the water or gas supplies.
[apart from the minor - but still significant - concern about having a boiler in a bedroom, the noise that it produces could be enough to disturb a light sleeper when the heating kicks in around 630am on winters mornings].
One further issue is that house is unusually long (approx 21m end-to-end) and the CH boiler is located at one end. The internal structure means that it would be (just about) impossible to re-site the boiler to a more central location without significant/structural building work. We do, however, have a utility room at the opposite end of the house, so one option might be to go for *two* smaller combis, one in the current location (or the kitchen, below the current position) and the second in the utilty room.
Any comments/ideas/suggestions?
Julian
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Julian Fowler
julian (at) bellevue-barn (dot) org (dot) uk
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It sounds like a big house. I think a combi might be underspecified, particularly if you expect to use several bathrooms at once. Higher output combis tend to be quite large. You might consider keeping the storage system, but putting a compact modern condensing system boiler in the kitchen. Alternativley, get a compact combi and use its hot water system for the kitchen tap only, keeping the storage system for bathrooms.
Also, you should probably consider changing to oil. I understand it is cheaper than LPG.
Christian.
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On Fri, 3 Oct 2003 11:12:48 +0100, "Christian McArdle"
Thanks for your input.

-ish ... typical barn conversion w/ two-storey hallway, large sitting room, kitchen, dining room, utility room (these two in a one-storey extension), 4 double bedrooms, 2 bathrooms.

Probably not an issue, since we have "work of the devil" (TM) electric showers (bath tends to be used about once a week!), and use cold-fill dish- and clothes-washing machines.

Indeed -- this was one of the drivers behind the thought of taking advantage of the available space in the utility room (which has accessible mains water and gas supplies) and put in two small(ish) combis rather than one big one.

With the two-combi's solution we'd thought of using a smaller one in the kitchen to provide h/w to the kitchen and to the downstairs bathroom (which is right next to the kitchen) and to heat about 2/3 of the downstairs rads, with the 2nd (larger) combi providing h/w in the utility room (which currently only has cold water), the upstairs bathroom, and the remaining C/H zones (upstairs rads plus those in the ground floor extension). This second combi would (hopefully) have some spare capacity should we ever get round to our "dream project" of putting a second floor on the existing extension (w/ additional rads and an en-suite bathroom to a new master bedroom).

We did some calculations on this and found out that it would be a *little* cheaper, but not enough to really consider this as an alternative given that we would be retaining the LPG for cooking - taking into account the infrastructure costs necessary to install an oil tank and piping.
Julian
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